Geographical areas
In the foreground
by Samir Nassar* | SYRIA

The archbishop of Damascus sounds the alarm: austerity has given way to widespread poverty. Wages have fallen by 50% in just three months. Lebanese crisis and US-Iran tensions have exacerbated an already difficult situation because of the war. A "new vocation" emerges in the drama based on "love, forgiveness, sharing, compassion".

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Francis’ message is dedicated "to the theme of narration". God himself is both creator and narrator. "In fact, he pronounces his Word and things exist." "Even the Gospels are stories." The story of Jesus, then, shows how God took man to heart and that for Him "there are no insignificant or small human stories".

| 24/01/2020
| VATICAN

East Asia and Asian communities around the world are preparing for lunar New Year celebrations, which begin tomorrow. A new dangerous coronavirus outbreak is however complicating things. Other factors also bode ill for the festivities. In South Korea, many people are stressed out by the New Year. Considered the bearer of good luck for thousands of years, the rat has come to be regarded as a dangerous and disease-carrying fiend.

| 24/01/2020
| ASIA

Intervention of religious leaders at the World Forum to "generate global awareness for change". The Oxfam report highlighted that wealth remains highly concentrated at the top of the distribution pyramid: the wealthiest 1%, in mid-2019, held more than double the net wealth owned by 6.9 billion people.

| 23/01/2020
| VATICAN

Sometimes “they are exploited by criminal traffickers; they are treated like numbers and as a threat by some authorities"," many times they do not let them land in ports ". Best wishes to those "in the Far East" who on January 25th celebrate the Lunar New Year.

| 22/01/2020
| VATICAN

The announcement came late yesterday evening after a meeting between the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic. Since the night, protesters have blocked numerous streets across the country and tried to break through the cordon to protect Parliament. The executive is not comprised of external technicians but "experts" linked to the various political movements.

| 22/01/2020
| LEBANON

Their son, a Chaldean priest in Istanbul, is deeply concerned. He cares for over 7,000 refugees. The last contact dates back to January 7. Neighbors did not report the disappearance for fear of retaliation. A Kurdish activist, who has been in prison and ill for 28 years, commits suicide in protest against abuses and human rights repressions.

| 21/01/2020
| TURKEY

Francis' message to the World Economic Forum. "We are all members of one human family", from which derives "the moral obligation to take care of each other", as well as the principle "to place the human person and not the search for power or profit, at the center of politics ".

| 21/01/2020
| VATICAN

At least four civilian deaths in Baghdad and Kerbala, two among security forces in Basra. Protesters threw Molotov cocktails and stones, police responded with bullets and tear gas. Three rockets fell near the U.S. embassy in the capital, inside the Green Zone.

| 21/01/2020
| IRAQ

During a meeting with a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Francis reiterated the Church's condemnation of anti-Semitism, expressing concerns about “an increase in selfishness and indifference, lack of concern for others and the attitude that says life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed.” For the pontiff, “This creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us, where hatred quickly springs up.”

| 20/01/2020
| VATICAN
by Marian Demir

Thousands of people shouted slogans, placed red roses, and prayed at the exact site and time of his assassination. Nothing is known about his killer. A memorial ceremony was held at his grave and a Mass was held in his memory.

| 20/01/2020
| TURKEY

"When you insist on the will of the Lord you are an idolater, because you prefer what you think, that idol, to the will of the Lord." When you rebel against the "will of the Lord", you are not docile, "it is as if it were a sin of divination". As if, while saying that you believe in God, you went "from the fortune teller to have your hands read 'for safety'".

| 20/01/2020
| VATICAN

In his homily yesterday, the cardinal slammed Lebanon’s politicians, especially those hindering the formation of a government. The latter is behind last week-end’s protests and clashes. At least 370 injured on Saturday. The cardinal again backs the “legitimate” demands of the people.

| 20/01/2020
| LEBANON

“Let us learn from John the Baptist not to presume that we already know Jesus, that we already know everything about him,” said Francis. “He, and He alone carried, suffered, atoned for the sin of each of us, the sin of the world, and also my sins. All of them. He carried them all on himself and took them away from us, so that we could finally be free, no longer slaves to evil. Yes, we are still poor, sinners but not slaves, no; children, children of God!”

| 19/01/2020
| VATICAN

The Chaldean primate led the ceremony in the presence of bishops, priests, nuns and many faithful. In his homily, the cardinal stressed that every priest "must be like" Jesus, a "caring and kind" father. Turning to Frs Hanna and Shamil, he reminded them that prayers help “overcome difficulties".

 

| 18/01/2020
| IRAQ
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